Seriously now, I am glad Ayaka isn’t dead, though I figured it was 50-50 at worst. With Shouma alive, our thoughts turn to Kotetsu – but more on that tomorrow. As for this week’s Kami-Memo, it was pretty good. The spine of the story wasn’t hard to predict – Ayaka was growing for her brother’s drug production, probably unwittingly. And it was indeed the botany student friend, Hakamizaka, who was running the operation. Apparently he came back from Iran with a lot more than a dissertation – he brought some kind of genetically engineered Iranian poppy that he’s using the produce his Angel Fix and give the youth of Tokyo “pink wings”. In drug terms it’s likely some sort of distilled heroin in pill form – bad shit indeed.
There’s still some mystery involved here. Narumi believes – I’m inclined to agree – that Ayaka isn’t the type to kill herself out of guilt over unwittingly helping her brother ruin his own life and countless others. There’s also the question Alice right asks, why would she use the squat school building to kill herself when a taller would have better served the purpose? With the fact that Toshi also has Ayaka’s phone, that’s enough to convince Narumi that something happened that night that quite literally pushed Ayaka over the edge. That’s the question going into next week’s finale, along with what condition Ayaka is in when she wakes from her coma.
If I have complaint, it’s that the series is trying to have it both ways with Fourth and his yakuza gang. Alice enlists their help often, in this case to find Hakamizaka and drive him out of business. But isn’t this really a matter of driving out the competition, even if it’s dressed up as an act of justice? The role of organized crime in Japan is often very nebulous, it’s true, but The Fourth and his crew are being looked at through rose-colored glasses here. It might be necessary for the story but it’s a case of selective morals as well.
Still, this is an entertaining way to end the season. This arc is seems to be the sweet spot for Kami-Memo – nothing too groundbreaking but solidly entertaining, with a bit of light grit and some philosophizing thrown in. Some of what Alice says about shaming the dead and such is absurdly theatrical of course, but she’s not meant to be a realistic character (obviously) and there’s a certain poetry to some of it. Narumi has progressed to the point where he’s more than a cipher, acting as an instigator of events and not just reacting and contentedly allowing himself to be used for everyone else’s benefit. The lack of really gripping characters is definitely a limiter on just how high this show can rise, though, and that’s why Renji – more charismatic than anyone in the regular cast – was such a Godsend. The NEET peanut gallery has never really gotten past the prop stage, Ayaka was largely missing through most of the series and Alice and Narumi’s limitations have been discussed ad nauseum. If there’s a second season I’ll happily give it a chance – there’s nothing to dislike about this series. But generally speaking, there’s not too much to get excited about either.